COEXIST - Actionable Stories for Sustainable Change - C - Choose a hero, issue

What is common between Captain America, Lord Rama (in Ramayana1), Marlin (from Finding Nemo2), Katniss Everdeen (from The Hunger Games3), Harry Potter, Neo (from The Matrix4) and Ishaan (from Taare Zameen Par5)?

They are my favorite people from these stories, but they also happen to be heroes of their stories.

One of the key elements for a story is a protagonist or hero who leads us through the story. The hero is relatable - we are able to relate to their situations. If we like them, we root for them to succeed in their quest. This is the core of the hero’s journey template of stories. You can take any of your favourite stories, you will find a hero at the center of the story. This hero is some human (or animal or robot) you cared about and now want them to achieve their goal in the story (usually against all odds).

In this series on how to write stories, we explore how to write actionable stories for sustainable change. In this post, we explore the first step to getting the story going - Choosing a hero and an issue (an urban wetlands issue).

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Dunkirk - A Technology Forecasting analysis

Dunkirk, a movie by acclaimed filmmaker, Christopher Nolan, has three merging story lines. It is an intriguing World War II plot and tracks three soldiers.

When Prof. Dmitry Kucharavy and I launched a course on Technology Forecasting on NPTEL, it struck me that one of the topics in the course is so similar to this movie. The topic was decision making. There are three types of decision making - Strategic, tactical and operational decision making.

Tommy (the foot soldier), Dawson (on the Moonshot), and Farrier (on a Spitfire, fighter plane) are the three merging story lines in the movie.

Strategic (long term, but unpredictable), Tactical (Medium term, but part-predictable), Operational (Short term, but fast-paced) are the three types of decision making modes.

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COEXIST - Actionable Stories for Sustainable Change - Method of Storywriting

What does Coexist mean? “It means living in harmony with any being and all the surroundings.”

One of our young authors (let’s call her Sashi) answered in a workshop we had organized for middle school students. Just like Sashi, many of the students in workshops were fascinated about heroic stories about their own cherished surroundings. Some of them had written stories in the past, but it was on a whim or part of an assignment at school. Not only did Sashi want to make a change but also make her classmates aware of the state of the environment that she lived in. But she wondered – How do I write a story? What should I do about all the changes I see in the environment? Should I just be an innocent bystander of anything happening around me? In this series, we will explore the construct that the young authors in our workshops used to write stories. Not simple stories, but Actionable Stories for a Sustainable Change. (All stories are available to download as an e-book)

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How to attain a mind-like-water status - Weekly Review

I sat at the shore of a lake in the Himalayas, in a place called Rewalsar in Himachal Pradesh. Crystal clear water. No ripples. Birds chirped. Lush green trees dotted the lake. Buddhist monasteries, a Gurudwara 1 and Hindu shrines adorned the small town. Burning lamps and incense gave out a distinct smell that you can associate with places of worship.

A stone plopped on the surface. Then another one, then another one. There were a lot of ripples, with those waves dashing against each other. Then, the stones stopped.

Weekly review is that phase of the lake when the waves reach the shore and the waves slowly die out, leaving the lake waiting for the stones to return. The lake doesn’t hate the stone, but it seems to be enjoying the show.

I first heard, David Allen, the productivity guru, talk about mind-like-water. I remember reading somewhere

A week without review is weak.

We will see how to review your week, so that on Monday, your mind becomes the lake which enjoys the show of stones (tasks) hitting the lake.

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Books and Stuff Podcast - Episode 10 - How to use diversity in perspectives for the sake of investing

Welcome to the Books and Stuff Podcast Series.

Books and Stuff Podcast series - What can you learn from philosophy, physics, maths, sociology to help you in investing? A well oiled mind to look at the stock market from various perspectives and hopefully, benefit from these perspectives. This is precisely the core idea of the book that Krishna to discuss with Bala - Investing - The Last Liberal Art by Robert Hagstorm.

Enjoy the Books and Stuff Podcast!

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Technology Forecasting for Strategic Decision Making - MOOC on NPTEL

Prof. Dmitry Kucharavy and I are happy to announce the launch of a new MOOC on NPTEL on Technology Forecasting for Strategic Decision Making. How to strengthen strategic decision-making with reliable technological forecasts? Numerous quantitative methods are available for predicting future demands and short-term changes. These methods, however, have limited application for such a question. The need is to combine the advantages of qualitative methods and explorative qualitative methods for long-range technological forecasting.

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Product-centered vs Human-centered Approach to Product Development

Which approach do we take in product development? Product-centered approach or Human-centered approach? This was a question that Kruthika Natarajan had posed on the NPTEL discussion forum. I gave her a few pointers based on my experience which she interpreted and I felt that this is a blog post on its own. So, here is our Guest Author for the post - Kruthika Natarajan on Product-centered approach or Human-centered approach.

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Systematic Innovation is not an oxymoron - podcast

Creativity + compassion = Innovation, says Bala Ramadurai, a co-founder of TRIZ Innovation India, and an Adjunct Professor at Symbiosis Institute of Business Management, Pune.

In our next episode of “Shape the Future of Work” podcast, listen to Bala as he shares how he helped companies become more creative using proven methods. Tune in to a podcast app of your choice and get inspired. Don’t forget to let us know your thoughts and experience in this area.

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No, I didn’t always wanted to do that. Title the post with a complicated number. Go ahead and copy this in to your favorite search engine and find out what it is and come back here and read the rest of the article. After that, you will have to figure out how this number is related to Kinderspark, the recently concluded innovation fest for school children conducted by Mahindra & Mahindra. Here is one more thing of intrigue - how is a Marvel superhero related to the whole thing?

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Thirukkural - 223

My 10-year old and I have been reading one kural a day (from Thirukkural, a set of poems about life) for almost 200 days running now. Some very interesting stories and discussions have come out of that. I am sharing some of them with you. Hope you find it useful.

குறள் 223:

இலனென்னும் எவ்வம் உரையாமை ஈதல்

குலனுடையான் கண்ணே யுள.

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